Archive | December, 2017

Rate Changes To Take Effect In 2018

To our valued TGDS family,

Effective January 1, 2018, there will be changes to our rates, packages, and memberships. These price increases reflect our commitment to providing you with the best possible pet care available, delivered to you by knowledgeable and adept staff. We live in a society that values people. 2017 was the final stage of the $3/hour minimum wage increase which has been great for new employees but also devalued staff who have been with us for a longer period (unless we increased their pay as well). The Earned Sick Time laws provide all staff with necessary time off, however, it comes with a price tag to maintain adequate staffing levels to keep your pet safe. We value your business and love your dogs!

What makes The Good Dog Spot the best spot for your dog?

Let’s look at some of the ways!

  • Our daycare is a behavior-based daycare. We are dedicated to improving your dog’s behavior both here and at home. Throughout the day, your dog is asked to perform commands in and out of the group. If he doesn’t know them, we teach him! This improves compliance to you at home. Think about it; if he will sit, lay down, stay and come while playing with all of his best friends, it is simple for him to respond to these commands at home in a less distracting environment.
  • Our educated staff knows dogs. We are members of the Dog Gurus, an Association for our industry that places an emphasis on dog safety in off-leash play. Our staff is trained in the Dog Gurus’ Knowing Dogs program during their first 6 months of employment to ensure they are educated on subtle cues and body language that allows them to understand your dog’s mental state and make good decisions regarding his playgroup and routine. Staff watch for signs of stress and anxiety so that they can adapt the situation to best fit your dog’s needs. This knowledge allows them to prevent issues and altercations before they arise. Likewise, we use our knowledge of behavior to choose appropriate play groups which are both safe AND fun for your dog and his friends. All staff completes a Pet First Aid and CPR class within 9 months of employment with us.
  • Safety is our number one priority. Your dog is supervised at all times by trained, knowledgeable staff. He is in a playgroup suitable for his age, size, and personality. He plays without a collar or equipment that could lead to injury or entrapment. Our entire facility is designed around a double gate system to ensure there are at least 2 doors or gates between your pet and the outside to prevent escape.
  • We care about your relationship with your dog and value it. If we can help in any way, we will. We know your dog is your best friend and a member of your family. He’s also a member of OUR family and we care about his best interests above all else.
  • We know each and every dog that walks through our door; everything from the sound of their bark to their favorite playmate to their favorite spot to be scratched. He’s not “just a dog.” He’s your dog, and he’s our friend.

All of us at The Good Dog Spot wish you a happy and healthy New Year. We look forward to serving you and your dog this year and for many years to come. Rate cards and info will be available soon in both our locations. If you have any questions or concerns about our rate increases or any of our practices, please don’t hesitate to talk to us. As always, we welcome your input!


Elizabeth Staples,

Cory Staple,
Director of Operations

Get Certified in Pet CPR & First Aid

We all remember learning CPR and basic first aid in health class, but have you thought about taking a course which covers this topic as it relates to your pet? As a pet parent, it is important to know the appropriate steps to take in an emergency.  Jim Helems of Pet Tech has made it easier for pet owners to understand first aid with his PetSaver Training class. Jim travels throughout the Pioneer Valley offering this training class, and next month he will be offering this course at The Good Dog Spot!

With this one-day training course you will know what to do when Rover steps on a nail or Molly misses a step while running down a flight of stairs. The tips offered in this class will help you learn how to react and potentially save your pet’s life! The course also offers information on how to prevent these horrible accidents from occurring in the first place.


Emergencies happen and sometimes rushing to the veterinarian is not as effective as performing CPR right away. When it comes to Pet CPR, it is much different than human CPR. It involves 30 compressions, two breaths and will need to be repeated four times. During the PetSaver class, you will learn how to deliver these effective compressions and breaths, thus allowing for you to be prepared during any situation.

Pet First Aid

When your dog steps on a tack or breaks a toenail, it is important to know how to assess the injury appropriately. Wounds are often hidden by fur and can be small, making it difficult to locate. When these wounds are not tended to right away it can lead to major infection. Recognizing the type of bleed is also important as each wound is different. Cleaning the wound with antiseptic and appropriately covering it is imperative. In some cases this method is only a temporary fix and you may need to immediately book a visit to the veterinarian.

Take action as a responsible pet parent and sign up for the PetSaver Training class. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the one-day course. The cost is $120 and will take place at the Chicopee location on January 14th and at the Northampton location on January 21st. You may register online by following the links below.

Chicopee PetSaver Training Class

Northampton PetSaver Training Class

Canine Flu

We have begun to receive calls and have pet parents picking up and dropping off their loved ones start asking about Canine Flu.  We wanted to provide this information to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.  

Possible Prevention

If your pet has a weakened immune system, is a young puppy, or is a senior dog, refrain from bringing him/her to social settings where they will come into contact with large amounts of dogs. Boost your pet’s immune system at home by supplementing plain full-fat yogurt, a probiotic, Colloidal Silver, or Colostrum to their diet. Lastly, speak with your vet about a vaccination plan that is best for your dog’s individual needs.

H3N2 Symptoms & Facts

  • Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, lethargy, eye discharge
  • and reduced appetite
  • 1 case has been confirmed in Hadley, MA at Valley Vet (December 1, 2017)
  • It cannot spread to humans
  • H3N2 is very contagious, and can spread from dogs to cats
  • Puppies, elderly, pregnant, and dogs that travel or socialize with other dogs are at the highest risk for H3N2

If your Dog shows Flu Symptoms

  • Keep your dog separate from healthy animals.
  • Call your vet to alert them, and use a side entrance (not the waiting room)
  • when visiting the vet.
  • Tell your vet if your dog has been to kennels, dog shows, daycare, dog parks,
  • or other events with many animals present.
  • Change clothes after interacting with your sick animal.
  • If your dog is diagnosed with H3N2, tell the owners of any other pets your dog has potentially exposed to the virus.
  • Also, if your dog has been diagnosed with the H3N2 virus, notify any pet care/ training facilities your dog has attended in the last two weeks.

Also, as a reminder, the Vaccination Policy at TGDS will remain the same (we require only the rabies vaccination and suggest clients have an in-depth conversation with their veterinarian about their personal needs, lifestyle and beliefs regarding vaccines). We encourage anyone who receives a live virus vaccination (for canine cough or canine flu) to refrain from attending daycare for at least 3 to 5 days after vaccination to prevent spreading the virus or contracting a mild case themselves.

For a printable copy of this information sheet please click here.

Bone Broth Benefits for Your Dog

During these cold winter months, broth can be a great addition to any meal. Not only will it help make the meal hearty and delicious, bone broth has amazing health benefits and allows you to use up all the leftover parts of those holiday meats. Bone broths contain many important nutrients, such as protein, minerals, and amino acids, that can help keep you healthy throughout cold season (there is a reason chicken noodle soup is a cold-fighting staple).

Making your own bone broth is nutritious, cost-effective and easy, and allows you to make it just the way you like it without any additives or fillers. You can use the broth to make soups or stews for meals during the week. You can also use the broth to make rice or pasta dishes to give them a little more flavor and nutrients, to braise meat or vegetables, or to freeze for future use. For more information on bone broths, including recipes, visit this website from Nourished Kitchen.

Good news! Bone broth is great for dogs and cats as long as it is not made with any ingredients that are toxic to pets such as garlic, onions, or chives. Broth can make kibble much more exciting and is especially good for enticing senior pets to eat.